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Archive for March, 2010

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Seth Emanuel’s Beautiful Birth (interventions and cesarean may require BOP, but it was a positive birth story, thanks to mom’s attitude!)

From around 38 weeks, I began experiencing significant birthing waves off and on.  A few times, I felt like my birthing time was approaching, got in a bath and listened to my birthing guide tracks and the baby come out track.  I felt so close to Seth then, I knew he would be with me soon and every wave was complete pleasure.  I felt ready for my birthing time.

The waves would subside after some time though, and active labour did not come.  After my “guess date”, I began to do some major work on releasing any remaining fears about birth and parenting, and saw that each day I would let go of more controlling and fearful thoughts and become even more ready for my role as parent.  By the time Seth’s birthing day came, I had completely let go of how I wanted things to go and accepted that I had done everything I could to provide Seth with a beautiful, natural birth.  Everything else was beyond my control.

This work of letting go and allowing for nature and the universe to take over was the most essential benefit of my hypnobirthing / hypnobabies work.  I had spent months practicing diligently for my perfect birth, envisioning and willing things to go a certain way, and this was all important, but ultimately the greatest lesson was knowing that no matter what happened, I could stay calm, relaxed, present and welcoming to whatever was in store.  “I calmly accept whatever turn my birthing may take” and “My only job is to relax and allow my baby to come to me” were wonderful affirmations I turned to often.

At 40 w 6 days, my midwives booked an ultrasound for me to make sure things were going smoothly, and if so we would wait until around 42 weeks for birth to begin naturally.  After the ultrasound, a most sensitive and wonderful OB came into the room and informed us that my fluid was quite low and that as much as she respected that I would want a natural birth and would prefer to let things start on their own, she strongly recommended that we “get on with things” as soon as possible to ensure the safety of the baby.  I cried as this was always my fear, having to make such a decision.  How do I really know whether my baby’s health is at stake?  Well, DH and I decided that we would in fact induce in a very gentle way in the next day or two if this is what my midwives recommended as well.  I have wonderful midwives who respect the natural birthing process and would not recommend induction before 42 weeks unless absolutely necessary.  Any concerns I had about whether this was necessary were put to rest when I spoke to my back-up midwife (my main was off call until 10 pm) who is incredibly anti-intervention, and she suggested we induce as soon as possible!  She didn’t even want to wait a day.  She said to go home, have something to eat and get our stuff and meet her at the hospital in 2 hours.  At this point I was able to put aside any regrets about things not starting spontaneously and just got excited that it was now my birthing time!  I would be meeting Seth very soon!

At the hospital, things did not look great.  I had been getting birthing surges all day, and was put on a fetal monitor to check things out and determine the best way to start induction.  It was found that my baby’s heartbeat was dropping with each surge, and this was concerning, as it was not certain that the baby would be able to withstand labour. At this point even more letting go was necessary, as my midwife warned that a C-section could be possible if things did not improve.  Again I was disappointed, but all my work in accepting whatever turn my birthing would take and staying calm and relaxed no matter what came in tremendously handy.  The decision was made to begin with cervadil, and to see how things progressed.  The contractions got more intense quite quickly, and as I stayed calm and relaxed and listened to my hypnobirthing / hypnobabies tapes I got into a great groove of riding them out.  Lo and behold, my baby’s heartbeat started to stay steadier throughout the contractions!  Seth and I were well on our way to his beautiful birth.

As I was only 1-2 cm dilated, midwife and OB thought things would take around 12 hours to really kick start.  I would stay at the hospital but both my midwife and husband went home to get some rest before things would really get going.  Good thing my mom decided to come stay with me even though I told her not to!   After about 3 hours, my birthing surges were so powerful it took all my strength to stay with the “anesthesia” and ride them out.  It really felt like pressure, but so much!  It was very intense and the waves were not really subsiding for more than a few seconds.  I went on all fours, rocked on a birthing ball, moved my hips and did whatever my body called on me to do to ride them out.  Soon enough though I began to feel that something was off, I was just not getting enough rest time between the surges.   OB came in and saw that it was getting too much, so we took out the cervadil and broke my water, I was 3-4 cm dilated already!  I called my midwife and husband and told them to come right away, it seemed like things were really progressing fast.

From then on I laboured naturally and beautifully for about 7 hours throughout the night, walking around, using the birthing ball, leaning against a wall or my husband and rocking my hips.  My DH and midwife were such incredible support, we listened to hypnobirthing / hypnobabies tracks out loud and they were with me through each birthing surge.  My husband rubbed my back, touched me and encouraged me so perfectly and I felt so connected with him and this beautiful moment. With each surge I felt my baby’s head come down, I envisioned a lotus flower opening and my baby coming through.  The waves were incredibly intense but it was beautiful.  And I was getting some rest in between so it was much more manageable than with the cervadil.

At this point my midwife started to get concerned with baby’s heartbeat again.  It looked like it was dropping with each birthing surge again, and would not stabilize.  I had to then stay on the fetal monitor the whole time, and lying on my back made it really difficult to ride out my birthing waves.  I got examined at this point, and was still only 5 cm so it looked like I would have a ways to go.  I began to consider an epidural, since the thought of labouring on my back for much longer was becoming unbearable.  It was amazing to be able to consider this possibility without fear or feeling like I would be failing in some way, I simply accepted that whatever felt right intuitively would be the right decision.  After discussing with my midwife, we saw that it seemed like it would be the right choice at the time.  I was getting exhausted and finding it harder to stay relaxed, and this was making things more difficult for both my baby and me.  We thought that an epidural would help me relax and perhaps allow for the baby’s heartbeat to stabilize.  I decided to go for it.

The anesthesiologist was wonderful and although the process was a bit scary it felt like it was definitely the right choice.  Almost immediately I got some relief, and we kept the epi at quite low so I could still feel what was going on.  It was great to be able to relax again and stay on my back.  We continued like this for an hour or so, but baby’s heartbeat failed to stabilize.  OB came in for a consult and recommended we just wait and see, I was about 6 cm by now so hopefully we could continue with a vaginal delivery.  As some of the drops in heartbeat got lower though, the decision was made to give me a different monitor for the baby that was more accurate, that would attach to the baby’s head.  This is when things got really critical, because once we tried to attach it we lost the baby’s heartbeat for a few seconds.  This was so scary, I thought we were losing the baby.  There was quite a bit of panic and both midwife and OB suggested we go for a C-section, it really appeared that the baby would just not be able to take labour anymore.  I decided to go for it.

At this point I felt so much acceptance, confidence and respect for both the natural order of things and grateful for medical intervention at times when it is necessary for the health of mom and baby.  I was scared and shaky as I was rolled to the operation room, but felt supported by the universe and by so many kind, great people who were committed to the best outcome for both Seth and I.  My husband came in with me and sat next to me throughout the quick operation, and soon enough we heard Seth’s first cry.  I have never felt or heard anything more beautiful in my whole entire life.  When I saw him I couldn’t believe the little miracle that had come from my body.  And he was so healthy and perfect, I couldn’t have been more grateful.  Dad held Seth as they finished up the operation and cut his cord, and within minutes Seth was on me and we were bonding beautifully.  I was able to breastfeed quite quickly after, and felt such an instant connection to this amazing new person that has entered the world.

Although I did not have a natural birth, the spiritual journey of being able to accept and allow what I once most feared (a surgical birth) was more enriching and rewarding than any birth I could have ever imagined.  Hypnobirthing and hypnobabies gave me the courage to know that I always have a choice, and I can always choose to stay calm, focused and positive no matter what the situation.  In the operation room, I told my husband that I felt so lucky have been able to experience so many things in one birth!  Induction, natural labour, epidural, surgical birth… and to stay connected to my baby and the process throughout.  I told him it had been the perfect birth, and so it was.  I’ve learned that what happens in life is exactly what needs to happen at any given time, and we are so much richer for allowing these experiences in and letting their beauty and wisdom enlighten us.  I can’t wait to see what other adventures and wonderful lessons Seth brings into my life.

Lots of love,
Paula

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You may have read Trillian’s birth story a few weeks ago.  If not, go read it!  I love it, because mom made the best choices along the way even though it was definitely not the birth she had planned, it was still empowering!   Induction at 35 weeks, epidural after 36 hours with pitocin.

Here is the video of when she was breathing her baby out.  YES, you can breathe out your baby, even with an epidural.  Mom even helped catch her own baby.

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Surfer Analogy

A mom off the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group came up with this.

Most women are like surfers who never get on the board when the wave comes.  Those are the epidural folks.

Some of us get on top of the wave and ride it, but really don’t enjoy the ride. (that’s me, and it makes an epidural tempting).

I suppose Hypnobabies is like a surfer who not only rides the wave, but is enjoying it, too!

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I went to the Trust Birth Conference and it was AMAZING.  Here is your chance to hear the amazing speakers and topics that were covered!

Miss the 2010 Trust Birth Conference?  Attend a session that you’d love to hear again?  Now is the time to preorder the 2010 recordings at a discounted price!  You will be notified when the sessions are available for download.

PRESALE on 2010 Trust Birth Conference Sessions
OFFER EXPIRES 3/31/10
Any 5 for $75 ($15 each)
Any 10 for $140 ($14 each)
Any 20 for $260 ($13 each)
Any 60 for $660 ($11 each)
On April 1st, the 2010 sessions will go to their regular price of $20 each, with varying discounts for larger orders.

AND, we are offering a HUGE savings on the cost of the 2008 sessions:
2008 Trust Birth Conference Sessions
OFFER EXPIRES 3/31/10
1-9: regular price of $15 each
Any 10 – $135 ($13.50 each)
Any 20 – $220 ($11 each)
Any 30 – $300 ($10 each)
Any 40 – $360 ($9 each)
Any 50 – $400 ($8 each)
All 60 – $420 ($7 each)

You can also preorder the 2010 Trust Birth Conference magazine for $20 (regular price will be $26).

All orders must be made prior to April 1 or regular prices will be charged. Pay via paypal by going to www.paypal.com and sending money to: trustbirthconference@trustbirth.com and make a note in the comments section as to what you are purchasing.  Please forward a copy of your paypal receipt to Lori for the 2008 sessions and she will send you a coupon code for downloading them.   You can choose your mp3s for the 2010 sessions when they are ready.

These purchases will help us to pay off the debt of the 08 and 10 conferences.

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Hello everyone. I’ve been meaning to write for a while now (she was born 01/30) but have not had the time :-). She’s breastfeeding right now (my “Breastfriend pillow” is attached to me and I’m leaning on my desk so I can have both hands to type!).

Bubble of peace needed after the pushing stage but it has a great ending and the hypnosis Worked!

My water broke at 10 pm on Friday evening. I had just gone to the bathroom and didn’t notice anything then but when I got in the kitchen ,splash, lots of liquid came pouring down my legs. I called to my husband: “honey, I think my water broke!” and went back to sit on the toilet. DH handed me the phone so I could call my Doula. She suggested I wait a little bit to make sure I was still leaking and to go to the hospital if it was the case. I didn’t have any pressure waves whatsoever. Actually, it had been 2 full days since I had felt any Braxton Hicks. I had been feeling them A LOT before that and so when they disappeared I had resigned myself to start birthing at 41 or 42 weeks! I should have known that the change was a sign even if the change  was that I didn’t feel anything any more! I did drink Raspberry leaf tea that day for the first time. I had also been listening to the “Birthing Day affirmation CD” for a few days.

I knew I’d be on the 24 hour countdown if my pressure waves didn’t kick in so I didn’t want to go the hospital right away. That and the fact that I knew billing starts at midnight at my hospital. :-)It didn’t make sense to get there at 11.30 pm and be billed for a full extra night! I had something to eat. We cleaned up the house a bit, finished our last minute packing and I called my OB at midnight. He suggested I go to the hospital. We got there at 1 am. They checked to make sure it was amniotic fluid (it’s just a little cotton swab like for the GB test) but didn’t do any vaginal exam. Got in our room at 1.45 am. I figured I should try to get some rest and I would start moving around and doing things by morning if my pressure waves hadn’t started on their own.  I had an orange and then went to bed. Since I wasn’t planning on moving I didn’t object to being hooked to the monitor. I also asked for the first round of antibiotics since I was GB positive. By 4 am I started feeling sensations. I put my headphones with one of the scripts and relaxed. By 6 am, pressure waves were stronger. I woke DH up and went in the tub.

My Doula arrived shortly after. I still had my headphones on and would concentrate on the voice. DH was squatting in front of the tub, putting his hand on my forehead from time to time. After a couple of hours, things intensified, I actually said: “just so you know, I’m thinking of pain medication”. It wasn’t so much that I really wanted to get any, but I wanted them to know the thought was in my mind and they should be prepared to talk me out of it. Nobody answered and I closed my eyes again. By then, I was getting uncomfortable in the tub. It wasn’t big enough and I couldn’t straighten my legs and my neck was getting sore. I stood up but stayed in the tub hanging on my husband’s neck. I had a lot of bloody show and I was being vocal. Low moans. Then I felt like throwing up and did: my entire orange came back out. I thought: this could be transition. My doula suggested I get checked and so we called my OB’s back up since he was with another woman birthing. Well… I was only 4 cm at 9.30 am but I didn’t let it disappoint me because I knew that I could be fully dilated within the hour.
I stayed outside the tub and was hanging on my husband’s neck. Each time a pressure wave came, I asked him to lift my belly so he would put both his hands on my belly and support it as I said: Deeper… Deeper… to keep my hypnosis. I could totally feel it working. I was also blowing raspberries with my lips to stay relaxed as my doula suggested. By 11.30 am, I started feeling pressure and my Doula thought I should be checked again. I hesitated but then agreed and asked not to be told the number. After they checked me, I got the OK to start pushing! Yeaaaah! We put the “Pushing stage CD on” in the computer this time so everyone could hear it. Pushing felt good right away. I first started upright on my knees leaning on the top of the bed.

Then I switched to use the squatting bar, then I went on my side.

This ended up working best for me. After about 2 hours, my Doula suggested I keep pushing longer with each pressure wave and put a little bit more “umph” in each push. After about 3 hours of pushing, they could see a little bit of hair. However, an hour later, after 4 hours of pushing, she still hadn’t budged any farther down. Her heartrate was fine but she was just not descending. I had asked for an IV at about the 3 hour mark because I needed the energy and I couldn’t ingest anything except water and ice chips. The apple juice and birthing-ade I had made felt way too sweet and yucky.

I knew that I was pushing well so I knew that something had to be done because she wasn’t coming out so I asked the doctor what we should do next. He suggested we use the vacuum suction to get her out. He was confident that she would fit through my hips and he said it was better than going for a C-section. He said that I had done a great job getting her low enough so that we could use the vacuum. I checked with DH and my Doula and we all agreed that something had to be done so we went ahead with the vacuum. He put the suction cup on her head and I started pushing and for the first time during birthing, I felt tremendous pain. Her head was half way out and the suction cup came off (it has a built in safety valve if there is too much pressure) so she went back in. That was disappointing. Now I had already felt the pain, and I knew I had to start all over again. I had this amazing dialogue with myself: you can’t do it. yes you can. no you can’t. you are being torn in half. she has to come out. she has to come out. All the while, I’m letting out what DH described as a ROAR. All my will went into it. I could see the doctor’s hand pulling and shaking. I heard a “pop” in my rearend. When her head came out again, first her hand was by her face and had to be freed, then the cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times. Once all the way out, she wasn’t breathing and she was all blue. I did get a chance to look between her leg and see that baby was a girl. They took her to the other side of the room for the oxygen and she did cry within a short time. She was brought back to me immediately and we all enjoyed seeing our little girl for the first time.

Amazingly enough, I didn’t have any perineal tear at all. I only had a minor labial abrasion that required 2 stitches. I was bleeding heavily so they gave me medicine to help with that. My placenta came out very easily but I didn’t get a chance to see it. The pop I had heard was my tailbone popping. I couldn’t sit for days and am still in pain. However, I had no pain at all in the front not even going to the bathroom! I also was not constipated at all and didn’t have any pain with my first bowel movement. I think maybe the fact that the first thing I ate after birthing was prune helped!

Talina Queen did not latch right away. It actually took 4 attempts over a 12 hour period for her to eat. However, I had a supportive nurse who told me not to worry and that her blood sugar level was fine and so she didn’t have to eat right away. I trusted the hospital staff so much I did something I thought I would never do: I let them take her to the nursery. I was so tired. I hadn’t slept in close to 36 hours. I knew she’d be safer with the nurse and I trusted that she would not be given formula.


Summary: Hypnobabies WORKED! I had a completely unmedicated birth. I believe my baby might not have made it if I had had medicine in me and thus in her. It would have been harder to revive her if she had had anesthesia in her body.

The staff at the hospital and my OB were GREAT! They started using Hypnobabies words after hearing them on the CD. Nobody ever asked if I wanted medication. My nurse was Awesome! She said, she had never seen a vacuum birth without anesthesia (I now know why!). My OB was amazingly patient. He was with me for a long time. He put his fingers inside of me to help me feel where I should push. I trusted him completely. I am glad I birthed at the hospital instead of at home.

All and all I am very pleased with my birth. I am extremely proud of myself. My husband brags about me to everyone but I tell him we gave birth to her together. I couldn’t have done it without him. His body was in it as much as mine. Thank you Hypnobabies and thank you to everyone on this forum. Your support during pregnancy was great. Aloha and enjoy your birthing. Sarah

PS: I started the hypnobabies practice at 20 weeks of pregnancy. I did not do the finger drop technique every day. I actually only did it a few times during pregnancy and I did not use my light switch during birthing. My husband did not do the partner practice. However, I did listen to the CDs (scripts and affirmation) every day and I did BELIEVE it would work for me. It sure did. Funny point: whenever my daughter gets fussy while eating, I’ll say: “peace” and I can tell she relaxes!

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Some background:  For my first birth, I had hoped to have a natural birth, but because I made this decision late in my pregnancy, I didn’t have time to do a lot of preparation, and the birth was a little difficult—a pitocin induction due to ruptured membranes after I had been awake all night with contractions that only got me to 2 centimeters.  It was not necessarily a bad experience, but with my second pregnancy I wanted to try again.  I believe that childbirth usually goes more smoothly when you don’t interfere with the natural process unless something is going wrong.  I been interested in studying hypnosis for my first birth, and I had read a book about it, but didn’t have time to really learn it.  This time, I did the homestudy program from Hypnobabies.

I really enjoyed Hypnobaies during my pregnancy.  It includes daily relaxation practice, which I often used to help me relax and fall asleep.  It helped me bond with my baby, look forward to my hiss birth, had tools for helping me get rid of my fears, and helped me have more confidence in myself.

For those reading this who are unfamiliar with Hypnobabies, one of the concepts taught in it is that words have power.  Many words commonly used in pregnancy and birth have negative associations in many people’s minds.  Hypnobababies replaces these words with other words, in an effort to help you be more positive.  I will be using these words during my story.  Instead of “contraction,” I use “pressure waves.”  I also avoid using the words “labor” and “delivery,” calling it “birthing” instead, and I try to avoid using the word “pain” when talking about birth.

For those reading who are studying Hypnobabies, you may or may not need to use your bubble of peace.  I would label my birth “mostly comfortable.”  Hypnobabies definitely worked for me, but there were times when I got off track and had discomfort, and I really struggled a lot during the pushing phase.  Honestly, there were times during my birthing when if someone asked at the time if I was having “pain,” I probably would have said yes, but most of the time I was comfortable and felt very calm and relaxed.

On Friday, March 5, I woke up around 4:00 am having pressure waves.  I tried listening to my Hypnobabies tracks to see if I could fall back asleep, but after about an hour, I decided to get up because if the baby was going to come today, I was going to need to get a few last minute things together for my hospital bag.  I found the charger for my digital camera battery, and I sat on my birth ball at the computer, printed out some extra copies of my birth preferences, and plugged in my ipod.  I got on the internet and did some stuff and tried to time the pressure waves with the contraction master website, but they seemed to weaken while I was on the ball and were sort of hard to time.

A couple hours later, my husband Tiatia got up to go to work, and then my 2 year old Tehani got up.  My pressure waves had pretty much stopped by this point.   Tehani and I had breakfast.  I think we ate some of the blueberry muffins we had made as a project the day before.  I put on a few shows for her on the DVR and I did some cleaning.  I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, including mopping the floor.  Then I felt tired, so I sat down and folded a load of laundry that I’d washed the day before.  Tehani and I had some chicken noodle soup for lunch.

Around 1:00 pm, after starting a load of laundry, I read Tehani some books and then I put a Hypnobabies  track on out loud and I laid down with her and we both had a nap.  I woke once during the nap to a pressure wave but went back to sleep and then had another one when I woke up around 2:30 and I think one or two more while I was lying down.  My pre-birth waves mostly came at night, so having waves during the day was unusual for me.  They were also strong enough that I was wondering if hypnosis was going to work.  I used my lightswitch and peace cue and it really helped me feel more comfortable during them.   I suspected that it would soon be time to meet my baby.  I got up and put on my headphones and listened to Birthing Day affirmations while I did some more cleaning and preparing.  I moved the load of laundry to the dryer, straightened up the living room, and got together Tehani’s clothes and things she would need for staying with friends while we were at the hospital.

Tehani woke up and I think she played with toys for a little while.  I hadn’t had any cervical checks from my doctor, but I had tried to feel my cervix myself.  It had felt soft and slightly open about a week before.  I decided to check it again and it felt softer and more open now, if I had to guess, I’d say about 3 cm, and I could feel how Teio’s head was now against it.  I had noticed that he felt lower on Thursday morning, and at my appointment that day, Dr. I. felt my belly and said that his head was engaged.  A piece of brown-tinged mucus plug came out on my fingers when I checked myself.  I started to finish packing my hospital bag, but all the stuff I needed would not fit in the bag I had already started to pack.  I tried transferring it to another bag, but it wouldn’t all fit in that one either.

I realized the waves were coming pretty frequently, so I decided to time them.  I got on the computer on the birth ball.  Pressure waves were about every 6 minutes apart.  I knew it was the real thing now.  My phone rang during a pressure wave and I wasn’t able to answer it.  I was Tiatia.  He was probably calling to tell me he was getting off work and would be home soon.  I called him back, but he didn’t answer.  I sent him a text saying I thought we’d be going to the hospital tonight, but I don’t think he got it.

The idea of getting in the bath sounded really good to me.  I put on a DVD for Tehani (I normally try to limit her TV viewing, but I made an exception that day), and  I filled the tub and put in a few drops of lavender oil, which I had been putting in my scent diffuser during my Hypnobabies practice to help with relaxation.  I put my laptop in the bathroom so I could play my Hypnobabies tracks while I was in the tub.  I put on “Painless Childbirth” (which I think is called “Comfortable Childbirth” in the 6th edition) and lied down in the tub and relaxed.

I’d brought my phone in the bathroom and Tiatia called again.  He could tell I sounded different and I told him I was having pressure waves that were pretty intense.  He asked when I thought the baby was coming, and I told him either late that night or early the next morning.  I told him I was in the tub.  It turns out he had stopped at the Redbox on his way home and picked up a movie for us to watch that night.  Yeah, that didn’t end up happening.  He got home a few minutes later and came in the bathroom to check on me and I told him I was coping fine.  He watched Tehani for a while and I guess he fed her macaroni and cheese and he also got together a bag with clothes and toiletries for himself and packed phone chargers, the video camera, the laptop, and the digital camera with it’s now fully charged battery.

I listened to “Deepening” next, and continued to handle the pressure waves very well.  I really wouldn’t describe what I was experiencing as painful, and I felt really in-control.  Doing the deep slow breathing and using the “peace” cue while imagining anesthesia going to my lower belly (where I felt the majority of the sensation of the waves) really helped.  I got into some different positions in the tub.  I sat cross-legged and I also kneeled .  After “Deepening” I listened to “Special Place” and Teio moved around during it, just like he did the first time I listened to it when I felt so connected to him that I got tears in my eyes.

Towards the end of the track, I lost my focus during a few waves and they started feeling really uncomfortable.  I called out that I needed help and Tiatia came in.  I told him it was really intense and I didn’t know if I could do it.  I almost started crying.  I was scared.  He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I said I did.  He started making phone calls to get Tehani taken care of.  I got out of the tub and got dressed.  I divided the stuff I needed to take to the hospital between my two bags and put my lavender oil and my phone in one of them.  Then I got my ipod and my headphones, and realizing that I needed something more than the regular tracks, I put on the Birth Guide.  I regained my focus and was once again able to handle the waves.  I sat on the birth ball in the living room and leaned forward on the arm of the couch.  I told Tiatia I needed a drink, so he gave me a little bottle of apple juice and I took sips of it between waves.

Michelle came to get Tehani and she was crying and really did not want to go.  I went over to her and gave her a hug and told her it would be okay, but she didn’t believe me.  Michelle asked if my water had broken and I told her it hadn’t yet, then a pressure wave started, while I was still kneeling on the kitchen floor, and I had to close my eyes and do my deep breathing.  She asked, “How far apart are they?” and I couldn’t answer her, both because I was still having the wave and because I didn’t know, I hadn’t been timing them.  Somehow Tiatia got Tehani into Michelle’s car.  He came back and asked me how I was doing and I said I was feeling more in-control now.  I told him I wanted him to help me time the waves.

We went in the bedroom and I turned on a lamp instead of the light so that it wouldn’t be too bright.  I sat on the birth ball and put pillows on the bed and leaned forward on the pillows.  Tiatia timed the waves with the stopwatch on his phone.  I told him I also wanted him to use the “relax” cue on my shoulder.  I once again lost focus during a few of the waves and made some noise, but the “relax” helped me relax and focus and I got back to feeling like the waves were only pressure and my anesthesia was working.  We discovered that the waves were between 2 and 3 minutes apart and were all lasting over a minute.  I was still able to talk calmly between the waves.  We decided it was probably a good time to head to the hospital.  I said we needed to call Dr. I. and told Tiatia where her number was.  At first, he wanted me to call her, but I told him to do it.  He called and told her we were going in and how close together the waves were.  She said she’d meet us there.

Tiatia loaded everything into the car, and I made sure we got the extra pillows and the birth ball. I also brought my apple juice.   I got in the back seat of our mini SUV and we took the headrest off the front seat put a pillow on top of it and leaned forward.  I continued listening to the “Easy First Stage” track.  I was actually quite comfortable during the 25 minute car ride, which was amazing because I remembered being very uncomfortable in the car last time.  When we left the house it was around 9:00 pm.

We parked and Tiatia carried a bunch of our stuff in.  We walked in and Tiatia told the receptionist at the ER admitting desk who we were.  She called the maternity center and told us they’d be coming to get us.  She asked if I wanted to walk or ride in the wheelchair, and I said I thought I’d be fine walking.  She put a hospital bracelet on me, during a wave, of course.  While we waited for them to come get us, I was standing there, drinking sips of juice between waves, and during them I’d lean on Tiatia and he’d say “relax” to me.  It felt wonderful to feel so relaxed and in control.  I remember telling Tiatia that they felt like they were coming right on top of each other now, since they were so close together and lasting so long, but I didn’t say it like I was afraid, it was just an observation.  It seemed like it was taking a long time for them to come and we started to wonder what the hold up was.  The receptionist called them again.

When they finally came for us, they asked again if I wanted the wheelchair and I decided to get it because I remembered from when we came to preregister that it was a pretty long way and the waves were so close together I’d have to stop a lot.  Riding in the chair, I was able to keep doing what I had been doing.  We got to the LDRP room (not a triage room like I went to first at the hospital where I had my daughter, which I was glad of), and they already had the lights dimmed for us and Dr. I. was there.  Once the pressure wave I was having was over, I got out of the chair and was given instructions on giving a urine sample and how to wear the hospital gown.  I had another pressure wave and leaned forward on the cabinet that contained the fetal monitor machine.  Then I said I brought my own nightgown to wear, and they said that said was fine.  I told Tiatia which bag it was in, and he gave the bag to me.  I took the cup and my bag and gave the sample and got changed.

Dr. I. had me get in the bed so they could put the monitors on me and she could check me.  She said that if I needed to move during waves, I could.  It turned out I was able to use my hypnosis to stay comfortable in the bed (with the head of it raised) during pressure waves, which is something I couldn’t do during the unmedicated part of my first birthing.  Dr. I. checked me and, drum roll, please…I was 8 centimeters!  I looked at Tiatia and said how happy I was to be so far along.  He had a big smile on his face.  Dr. I. showed me how big that was on the dilation chart.  She asked Dianne to get a birth ball (we’d left mine in the car—one man can only carry so much) so I could sit on it, which sounded great to me.  I sat on the ball and leaned forward on the bed.

Dr. I. asked what the results of my GBS culture had been and I said she’d never told me, so I’d assumed negative.  Someone came to take my blood, and I barely felt it.  Then Dr. I. said they were going to need to give me an IV for antibiotics because it turns out I tested positive for GBS .  At first I said “okay,” but then I said I wasn’t sure if I wanted the antibiotics because I’d done reading on it and there are risks to the antibiotic use, too.  Dr. I. said that the antibiotic they use is mild and that it would be to protect the baby.  I agreed to get it, and now I do think that was the right decision because had I known I was positive beforehand, I would have done natural remedies to make it less likely for the baby to be infected.  Dr. I. said that it was good that my water hadn’t broken yet, since the membranes being intact for longer reduces the risk of infection, and she said it would be best to (as I’d requested) wait until it broke on its own.

It took at least 4 tries and 3 different people to get an IV in me.  Apparently the veins in my hands are deceptive—they look great, but when you try to put the needle in, it doesn’t work.  They ended up putting it on my left forearm.  Getting stuck multiple times was really uncomfortable and quite frustrating, so I was relieved when they got it in.

After that, the memories are not completely clear.  I remember Dr. I. suggested some different positions.  I know I stood leaning forward for a few waves.  Someone was behind me with their hands on my hips, but I have no idea who it was.  I think after that she wanted me to try kneeling, so she adjusted the bed so that I could kneel on the foot of it and rest my head and arms on the middle part.  I think that when I went to get into that position is when I vomited all over the floor, but I knew that was a good sign, a sign that I was nearing full dilation, and I also had read that the act of throwing up can help your body open up faster.  I remember saying that I felt better after throwing up.  I also remember saying I felt shaky, and Dianne said that meant I might be in transition.  The kneeling position was comfortable, and I was still very focused and relaxed, using my hypnosis, restarting the “Easy First Stage” track on my ipod whenever it ended.  I think Dr. I. checked me in this position and I was 9 cm.

Soon I started to say “Ah” at the peaks of the pressure waves, and Dr. I. asked if I was feeling rectal pressure and I wasn’t yet.  Then a few waves later I said I was starting to feel it.  Sometime around this time, “Easy First Stage” ended again and I let “Pushing Baby Out” start playing.  Dr. I. had me get back in the semi-seated position and checked me again, and she said there was a lip on my cervix and the baby’s head needed to rotate a little more.  I continued to “Ah” all through the waves, and that felt good.  I think Dr. I. had me get on my side.  She told me that if I really felt I needed to push at the peaks of the waves, I could.

After a while, she checked again, and the lip was still there, so she tried having me push while she held back the lip.  That was very uncomfortable and it didn’t work.  It was during this that my water finally broke.  She told me to try not to push for a while.  Now that I had pushed, I felt like I needed to keep pushing.  From this point on, I was never able to really get back in the peaceful place I had been before.  It also didn’t help that I had never actually listened to “Pushing Baby Out” all the way through to make sure it was okay and it turns out the track on my iPod was incomplete, so it would just stop in the middle of something.  I felt panicked and very out of control and was not comfortable at all.  As the waves would peak, I’d yell “I CAN’T NOT PUSH!” and would try to push only as much as I absolutely had to.  Dianne had to tell me to slow down my breathing so I wouldn’t hyperventilate.  At one point, Tiatia kissed me (if you’re unfamiliar with why this is helpful, read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin), and that did help me relax some. I was touched that he thought to do that, that he actually had paid attention to some of the stuff I’d shared with him from my reading.  I also switched from “Pushing Baby Out” to “Deepening” because I wasn’t supposed to push yet, and then I never went back to “Pushing Baby Out.”

Somehow I got past the really intense part of not being able to push and moved on to the really intense part of trying to push.  Dr. I. said I could change positions if I wanted (I was now back to semi-seated), but I didn’t want to move.   Dianne pulled some handles up from underneath the bed and told me I could hold on to them while I pushed.  I started pushing, but the way I was pushing wasn’t working.  Dr. I. noticed I was tightening my pelvic floor, so she and Dianne had to tell me to relax that area and focus on pushing with my abdominal muscles.  Not everyone has to push like that, but apparently I do, or at least did with this baby.  Dianne got right in my face and Dr. I. told me to look at her.  She told me to hold my breath and push.  She did count to 10 during some of the pushes, but for most of them she didn’t count and I only pushed as long as I felt I could, and for some of them I did breathe out instead of holding my breath.  Dianne also told me not to start pushing when the wave started, but to wait until it built.  I was not able to relax the rest of my body while pushing, and as a result, I was very sore the next day.  I also burst a blood vessel in my eye.

At some point during the pushing phase, Dr. I. said something about wanting to put in an internal fetal monitor because the external one wasn’t doing a good job of tracking his heart rate.  At first I said “okay,” but then my inner advocate kicked in and I said I didn’t want the monitor screwed on my baby’s head.  Dr. I. told Dianne to adjust the external monitor and it picked his heart rate up better.  I was glad I stood up for my baby.

Once I got pushing figured out, it wasn’t too long before I felt him in the birth canal.  The feeling when he crowned was very, very intense.  It didn’t feel like burning to me, though, it felt like the gentle version of  perineal  massage I had done a few times, only about 10 times more intense.  Looking back on it, the feeling was kind of cool, but at the moment I really wanted it to be over.  I wanted to keep pushing, but Dr. I. told me that my perineum would stretch better if I waited for the next pressure wave.  His head was out with the next wave and I had to keep pushing his body.  I remember Tiatia reminding me to breath in, because I just wanted to keep pushing.

Teio was born at 1:47 am.  I reached down and pulled him up onto my own belly, which is something I had wanted to do ever since I’d seen it on a video.  They put a towel on him and I talked to him and rubbed is back.  He was a little purple and not crying.  The other nurse, whose name I didn’t get, told me she was going to have to take him.  Dr. I. clamped the cord and Tiatia cut it.  Tiatia took a video of Teio getting deep suctioned and being given oxygen.

Dr. I. had me push out the placenta.  Then, she and Dianne started doing uterine massage ,and my uterus wasn’t firming up and I was bleeding too much.  Teio wasn’t ready to breastfeed yet, so they put pitocin in my IV.  A little while later, I was still bleeding more than they like to see, so Dianne gave me a shot of methergine in my thigh.

When Teio was ready, the nurse brought him back to me before dressing him or anything so I could hold him skin-to-skin.  He latched right on and has done a great job nursing ever since.  After we had some time to nurse and bond, the nurse weighed him and he was 7 lbs 10 oz—7 oz bigger than his sister was.  She diapered and dressed him.  Dr. I. showed me the placenta, which was really cool.  She showed the maternal side and the membranes that held Teio as he grew.  This was really interesting to me.

I felt amazing after the birth.  The hormone rush was really awesome feeling.  I was so proud of myself for doing it unmedicated and for feeling so in control for much of the time.  I really believe I couldn’t have done it without Hynobabies.  Dr. I. told me that she thought I should get certified to teach the program like I had told her I was considering doing if I found it helpful during my birth.  I was up taking a shower soon after.  It felt really good to be able to shower.  It was a little difficult still having the IV attached because I wasn’t wearing a hospital gown, so I had to leave one strap of my nightgown around the IV line, and when I tried to put the nightgown back on, it got all tangled around the line and Dianne had to help me fix it.

Because of my positive GBS status and only getting one dose of antibiotics (you’re supposed to get 2 doses, 4 hours apart, but I wasn’t at the hospital long enough), they wanted to keep Teio in the hospital for 48 hours to watch him for signs of infection, since about 80 percent of newborn GBS infections show up during that time period.  I loved that I didn’t have to switch rooms at all during my hospital stay and that, because the same nurses who help with the births also do postpartum care, on our last night we got to see Dianne again.

Dianne said she had read my birth preferences and I could tell she really made an effort to follow them.  She told us that the reason she left us in the ER so long was because my birth preferences said I didn’t want it loud and she wanted to do all the noisy room set up before they brought me in.  She also said how surprised she was when Dr. I. said I was 8 centimeters, because I wasn’t acting like it.  We talked about how difficult my pushing phase was, and Dianne said that it looked like I was actually pushing right, and Teio just wasn’t coming down.  She said normally women don’t need to push with their abdominal muscles.  She said she was actually thinking they were going to need to use the vacuum extractor, but she hadn’t suggested it because she knew I wanted minimal intervention.  Tiatia mentioned that he’d actually yelled “relax” at me when I was panicking, and Dianne said that caused me to suddenly focus.  I don’t even remember that, but I guess my subconscious recognized the cue, so my hypnosis training did help more than I thought it did during pushing.

Teio is a very cute and so far is a good baby.  His birth was an amazing experience that taught me so much about the capabilities of my mind and body.

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I’m preparing from HB #2 and I’m re-reading and re-listening and it seems like nearly every day I hear something or read something that i don’t remember from the first time and that was a scant 10 months ago.
So as you go into maintenance, I urge you to re-read your materials and listen to each script in an alert setting with ‘fresh ears’ and an open mind.

For example, I recently realized that many of the scripts talk about pressure AND stretching sensations, I have no memory of the stretching part. Looking back I realize that what I classified as discomfort was in fact the stretching way down low near my cervix. It didn’t really hurt, but felt like a very very tight muscle pulling as I try to stretch it but since I felt only comfortable pressure elsewhere in my uterus, I fixated and got scared of that feeling. Well hmmm, if I had that suggestion clearly in my head I think i would have characterized it differently during my first birthing time.

Also the handbook is fantastic to read again, I read through so fast last time, so excited to start the program that I don’t think i really absorbed, it’s amazing re-reading what I find and what sticks out to me. I also like to think that reading and re-reading the positive talk about the power of hypnosis can only do my mind good.

So please, freshen up your practice with a quick run through your reading materials and listen to your scripts again with an alert mind you may find the a gem you missed.

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